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Reasons – Is chocolate bad for cats?
Are cats allergic to it?
Is it poisonous to cats?
How much chocolate can a cat eat?
Can cats eat white chocolate?
Can cats eat chocolate ice cream?
Can cats drink chocolate milk?
The fatal dose of chocolate for cats
Signs of chocolate poisoning in cats
Treatment – My cat ate chocolate! What to do?
Humans love sweet things, like chocolate and do consume a large amount of it for any occasion, be it Halloween, Christmas, Easter, birthday or any other celebration. These are the moments when we, cat owners are even more tempted to share our food with our cats as well.
If you are in this situation and wondering about: “Can cats eat chocolate? Or is chocolate poisonous to cats? And what happens if cats eat chocolate?” then you are at the right place. This article will answer all these questions along with many more details.
Can cats eat chocolate? – No
The straightforward answer to the question: “Can cats eat chocolate?” is a big no. Cats can’t eat chocolate. In fact, chocolate can be really harmful to cats. So even if your cat begs for a piece, please do not fall for her heartwarming influence and say no. Cats and chocolate don’t go well together and indeed are a very dangerous combination. Therefore, you should never feed your cat chocolate.
Anyway, chocolate is not part of a feline’s regular diet, and it doesn’t carry any nutritional benefits either, so there is no use of feeding your cat chocolate. Consequently, to be safe, just keep your cat away from any forms of chocolate at all cost.
Why can’t cats eat chocolate? – Is chocolate bad for cats?
As it turns out, cats should not eat chocolate. But why not? Are they allergic to it? Or is it poisonous to them? Before we get to these points, here are some basic things about cats and chocolate to have a clear and better understanding.
About cats and chocolate
Chocolate, one of the most popular food types and flavors in the world, is produced from cocoa beans that are grown near the Equator. It is a highly used ingredient in a vast number of foodstuffs including desserts like cakes, and biscuits, commonly used as flavoring in mousse, pudding, or ice cream, and it can be found in beverages such as chocolate milk, hot chocolate or even in some alcoholic drinks as well. However, much of the chocolate consumed today is sold in chocolate bars and come in different varieties (dark, milk and white chocolate) and shapes.
When it comes to nutrition, chocolate is a good source of vitamins such as vitamin A and B12, and minerals like calcium, phosphorus, potassium, iron and magnesium, and contains alkaloids like theobromine or caffeine together with a moderate amount of oxalate.
Despite its bad reputation for causing weight gain, chocolate is said to have a number of health benefits for humans like lowering cholesterol, preventing cognitive decline and reducing the risk of cardiovascular problems. However, these advantages do not apply to cats. Unlike for humans, chocolate doesn’t provide any type of nourishment to your cat, and that is why there is no benefit of feeding your cat chocolate.
Are cats allergic to chocolate?
It is a well-known fact that just like humans, cats can have allergies too, and food allergy is one of the most common types. Every cat is unique. Some cats have a more sensitive digestive system than others and may have allergies to certain foods. Therefore, it is definitely possible that a particular cat has an allergy to chocolate. However, the problem of a cat eating chocolate is not due to feline allergy.
Consequently, cats can indeed have an allergic reaction to chocolate, but this is not the exact reason why cats eating chocolate is a really bad idea.
Then why is chocolate bad for cats?
While chocolate is a sweet, delicious snack for humans, it is absolutely not suitable for cats. In fact, chocolate is very dangerous to cats for several reasons.
As discussed, the problem that cats have with chocolate is basically not due to being allergic to it. Rather, it is due to the fact that chocolate contains several substances that can be harmful to cats.
The first thing to watch out for is the high sugar content found in chocolate. Chocolate contains a lot of sugar which if eaten, adds excess fat to a cat’s little body causing weight gain and this could easily result in several health problems like diabetes, liver disease or even decreased length of life.
Another troubling component in chocolate is oxalate. Chocolate and cocoa contain a reasonable amount of oxalate that is believed to contribute to kidney problems or bladder stones especially if the cat has urinary tract infections quite frequently.
Even though these ingredients individually (sugar and oxalate) are harmful to cats, the main reason why chocolate is bad for cats is due to another two chemical compounds found in chocolate: caffeine and theobromine, both of which provide a substantial physiological effect on the mind and body.
Both theobromine and caffeine are known as stimulants and affect the cardiac and nervous system. When a cat eats foods that contain these ingredients (like chocolate), she may experience high blood pressure, increased heart rate, increased loss of body fluids, upset stomach, hyperactivity, excessive thirst, muscle tremors, seizures, all of which can be individually dangerous for cats.